If you’re feeling a bit down because a right wing tabloid newspaper was able to bully a state government into banning schools from screening a heart-warming doco about same-sex parents and their families you’re not alone.
Jenny Leong, a state MP representing the progressive electorate of Newtown, started getting messages to her Facebook page after state Education Minister Adrian Piccoli ordered schools not to screen Gayby Baby.
Objections to allowing the film to be screened during school time have generally included a thinly veiled pragmatic concern and a not so difficult to expose discomfort with its actual content.
A common thread in the comments received by Leong was that it would somehow be unbalanced to show the film, which depicts the day-to-day lives of same-sex families.
She was not impressed.
“The question has to be asked, what is the other side of the story when we’re celebrating diversity and difference in our community,” Leong told New Matilda.
“Because for me the other side is about advancing a story about homophobia, about discrimination, about sexism, and about racism. And the only way those things should be advanced within our schools and our community is to teach people they are never acceptable and we must always stand up against them.”
It seems those taking the message to Leong via social media had the opposite impact they were hoping for.
Meanwhile, the actual students at the heart of the drama – the people supposedly in need of protection from this PG rated film – had this to say.
Leong said she was particularly concerned about the impact the attacks on the film and its celebration of young people from diverse families would have on young people already dealing with discrimination.
“The real damage here is on the young gender questioning people and young LGBTI people who suffer real bullying and real challenges everyday.”
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